For this week’s Fast Forward Friday, we interviewed Writer-Director-Actor Ryan Lonergan. He is best known for the films Kill the Monsters (2018), The Fall of 1980 (2013) and A Thousand Beautiful Things (2005).
Q: What are you currently working on? Tell us about it.
I am currently working on my first novel. It has been a much lengthier process than writing a screenplay but very rewarding.
Q: What was the inspiration and impetus for doing this project?
It is not autobiographical but it does deal with many real life experiences I have had and experiences others I know have had. I suppose everything is autobiographical to some degree, but this really delves into things I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.
Q: Who are your artistic heroes – who have had an impact on you and your work?
Too many to list. My favorite book is The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. My favorite film is Passion Fish by John Sayles.
Q: What keeps you motivated and inspired as an artist?
Seeing films and reading books, and watching theatre and television that gets out ahead of my expectations and challenges me by asking complicated questions.
Q: What other projects would you like to tell us about?
Several projects. I have a noir that takes place in 1932 in Kansas City, which is where I grew up.
Q: What is one instance of knowing you are living in your vision?
I’ve had final cut on my films so far.
Q: If there were no barriers to entry, what is one thing you would be doing?
Shooting more films.
Q: What has been big your biggest obstacle in achieving your vision?
Film financing is always complicated, but there are solutions.
Q: What do you do to stay connected to your creative self?
I read a lot.
Q: If you could let go of something that has held you back, what would it be?
My concern over current political trends and how they negatively impact the arts.
Q: What is your favorite piece of art?
I mentioned Mirth and Passion Fish. I would also add Howard’s End, both the novel and Merchant/Ivory adaptation.
Q: What person do you most admire, living or dead?
Artistically, I would say Robert Altman.
Q: If you could be known and celebrated for one thing, what would it be?
Q: If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be?
Q: What is your guilty pleasure?
Q: If you could sit down with yourself 15 years ago, what would you say?
I would tell myself what to focus on and what not to worry about because most of the advice I received on those points turned out to be incorrect.
Q: Where would you most like to live?
Where I live now in Bushwick but in a bigger apartment.
Q: What is your idea of success?
Being able to make films and not stress about money.
Q: What is your idea of happiness?
See above plus have a family and give back.
Q: Final Thoughts?
Grateful to be a part of this!